- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The conservative House Freedom Caucus said Wednesday night that it officially opposes the budget deal struck by senators earlier in the day.

The deal ends sequestration caps on the Pentagon without acceding to Democratic demands for equals boosts to domestic spending, but it still raises spending by nearly $300 billion over the next two fiscal years.

That was a bridge too far for the Freedom Caucus.

“Official position: HFC opposes the caps deal. We support funding our troops, but growing the size of government by 13 percent is not what the voters sent us here to do,” the conservative group posted on Twitter.

The rejection had been predicted earlier in the day by Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican and the group’s chairman.

The loss of the Caucus, which is believed to have a membership of almost 40 representatives, basically ensures the Senate deal cannot pass the House without significant support from House Democrats.

And in a bad signal for that possibility, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took to the floor earlier Wednesday and delivered a seven-hour speech — reportedly a record for the chamber — railing against the deal for not including a solution for illegal-immigrant “Dreamers.”

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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